MSI 890GXM-G65 review

Price when reviewed

MicroATX motherboards can often cram much of what you need into a tiny package, and the best have real versatility. The Socket AM3-based MSI 890GXM-G65 is one of those, coming with integrated ATI’s most powerful Radeon HD 4290 graphics to make it suitable for a wide range of intended uses.

MSI 890GXM-G65 review

Elsewhere, four DIMM sockets can handle up to 16GB of 2,133MHz DDR3 RAM, and two PCI Express x16 sockets – with one running at full speed, and a second at x8 – sit alongside single PCI Express x1 and PCI slots. Five SATA/600 ports are included, with one perpendicular to the board, with older SATA/300 sockets no totally absent.

The selection of on-board connectors is wider than we’re used to seeing, even on many ATX boards. It has four USB 2 headers, an IDE slot, a connector for a parallel port bracket, an onboard overclocking switch and even a jumper for a TPM module. The only disappointment is the measly pair of fan jumpers, one of which is bound to be occupied by a CPU cooler.

MSI 890GXM-G65

The backplate is similarly well stocked. Display output is handled by HDMI, DVI-D and D-SUB, there’s a pair of USB 3 ports to go with the four USB 2 ports. You also get an eSATA socket, Gigabit Ethernet and single PS/2 and S/PDIF ports, beside six audio jacks.

The form factor does prove restrictive in parts, though. The chipset cooler is closer to the AM3 socket than we’d like and, similarly, the DIMM slots aren’t far away from the processor. Combine this with the notoriously fiddly installation procedures required by most third-party CPU coolers, and the MSI could be a tricky board to install in some cramped enclosures.

Also, cram such a large roster of features onto a smaller PCB and, inevitably, the price rises: this £88 exc VAT board costs as much as our A-Listed ATX board, so you’re paying a premium for the miniaturisation. Still, the MSI is among the most versatile microATX boards we’ve yet seen and, if you want to save space without compromising on features, it goes some way to justifying that outlay.


Motherboard form factormicro ATX
Motherboard integrated graphicsyes


Processor/platform brand (manufacturer)AMD
Processor socketAM3
Motherboard form factormicro ATX
Memory typeDDR3
Multi-GPU supportyes


Motherboard chipsetAMD 890GX
South bridgeAMD SB850
Number of Ethernet adapters1
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
Graphics chipsetATI Radeon HD 4290

Onboard Connectors

CPU power connector type4-pin
Main power connectorATX 24-pin
Memory sockets total4
Internal SATA connectors0
Internal PATA connectors1
Internal floppy connectors1
Conventional PCI slots total1
PCI-E x16 slots total2
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots total1

Rear ports

PS/2 connectors1
USB ports (downstream)4
FireWire ports0
eSATA ports1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports1
3.5mm audio jacks6
Parallel ports0
9-pin serial ports0
Extra port backplane bracket ports0

Diagnostics and tweaking

Motherboard onboard power switch?no
Motherboard onboard reset switch?no
Software overclocking?yes


SATA cables supplied2
Molex to SATA adaters supplied0
IDE cables supplied0
Floppy cables supplied0

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos